Talking Past, Present and ‘Halo 4′ with 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor

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People want to know if they can still do Warthog jumps. Yes, you can. People wanted to know if they could still do grenade tricks. Yes, you can. All of the gameplay is going to be identical. There might be tiny little changes that we just haven’t tested through yet, but you shouldn’t really encounter any major differences with this game and the original. But for multiplayer it was a much more complicated question.

Years ago we sat down and had lots and lots of meetings, and lots and lots of conversations about nearly everything. “Should multiplayer be the original code? Should we just put a netcode layer on it? This one we’re going to have to explain until we’re 100 years old.” It was a really complicated decision and a lot of factors went into realizing that the best thing for us as a company and for the health of the project, expanding on what Reach did was the way to go forward.

We didn’t want to split up the existing Reach eco-system. There was some modern elements in Reach that make it much more fleshed-out experience, things like saved films and so on. And so ultimately we decided to go with the Reach multiplayer engine. It just keeps moving forward.

So for support for Reach, I mean, is it going to be across different games?

Yeah. So what will happen is you get the retail disc and you just log seamlessly into multiplayer. You’ll have the seven maps that come with it from that disc or campaign. You won’t see any switch in engines, it will be effectively seamless. If you have Reach, we will make the other maps available for Reach players. If they’re not interested in the campaign mode for Anniversary, they will still be able to get the new multiplayer…

So the seven maps that come with Anniversary will be playable via Reach?

Eventually, yes.

But again, back to the engine, is this indicative of Halo 4 at all?

No. This is a very complicated project. Saber Interactive was a great partner for us because we needed something very distinct and bespoke to make these two engines talk together. But technically, the Halo Anniversary campaign doesn’t have any technological similarities with the Halo 4 engine.

What can we expect from that engine? As proprietary tech…

For Halo 4?


We’re not going to talk about that for a little while. We are going to have some people from 343 Industries at Halo Fest at PAX this year and we’ll start talking a little bit more, but don’t expect a huge flow of info out on Halo 4. But will talk a little about it, and probably have some of technology guys there as well.

You mentioned for Halo Fest that some things are being shipped out from New Zealand.


Will those be from WETA?

That’s a fair guess, yes. [laughs]

And would those be props from the movie that was in development?

Not from the movie. These are from the Neill Blomkamp live-action shorts. We made a lot of real-life things, so we want to kind of build a museum at Halo Fest.

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